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My kitchen window looks across an almost bare backyard where a plain fence divides my lawn and clothesline from a vacant paddock. Living almost in the country where I can see a few gumtrees and the distant blue hills is one consolation. Another is the newly made road that runs past my Housing Trust home and the eight other cream brick veneers in this street that ends nowhere.

Here I can tell the kids  “We’ve got a nice new house to live in, just the three of us, haven’t we?  It’s big, but not too much for Mummy to keep clean.  We’ve got nice neighbours to see every day if we want, but they’re not so close that everyone has to know each others’ business.” I’d feel less comfortable living close to my sister and parents, who’d want to know my business in detail.

After tea the empty skies darken, but the stars are often as bright as the street lamps.  In this neighbourhood, people lock their front doors early.  Nights are supposed to be quiet and private with blinds drawn over still-lit rooms or just the glow of a television.

The television, net and phone are my lifelines to the real world. I play The Sims 2 more than I should, it fits with the stories I make up. Yes, I’ve always loved telling stories, reading and imagining! I go shopping twice a week, getting a lift from a neighbour or walking with Paul in his pusher while Sue is at school. If I spend the morning shopping with Judy, Rae or Alison I like to make them lunch back at my place and we chat until it’s time for their kids to start arriving home.

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